De Niro was unaware that Apple had censored and swapped his speech on the autocue until he got on stage and discovered that it was not how he remembered it.
Apple, the film's producer, claimed that it made the changes after the filmmaking team insisted that it wanted the actor's remarks to be centred on the movie.
De Niro said he had not been informed of the changes, which took out any mention of the former president. De Niro, who was on hand to present Killers of the Flower Moon with the Gotham Historical Icon and Creator Tribute, criticised the awards show and Apple.
"I don't feel like thanking them for what they did. How dare they do that."
According to sources with knowledge of the show, a revised speech was delivered to the teleprompter less than ten minutes before the event started. A woman who told the teleprompter operator to upload a new speech was overheard identifying herself as an Apple employee.
Apple has a previous form for censoring people who disagree with past and present politician views. It recently shuttered a talk show because it feared the host might offend China. One has to question why it thinks it should be running a television company if is fearful of offending anyone.